Steinway Accelerated Action



The touch of a Steinway is the most highly responsive and sensitive of all pianos made in the world.  In fact, tests conducted under controlled conditions have proven that the keys on a Steinway piano can repeat 13% more quickly than the keys of any other piano.  The same features that allow for the faster repeat also allows for a more sensitive, responsive keyboard, a key feature that is acknowledged positively even by beginning pianists.

Some of the distinguishing features of the Steinway action are:

(1)    The Steinway action tube made of seamless one-sixteenth inch brass tubing. This does away with the possibility of atmospheric chances affecting the regulation of the action mounted on these tubes, as it prevents warping. Ordinary rails made of wood without being encased in the brass tubing are liable to twist and warp, thus throwing the regulation and touch out of perfect alignment.

(2)    The sides of the Steinway hammer are subjected to a water-proofing process, to prevent the felt and glue from being affected by dampness, with consequent loosening from the wood, which consequent loosening from the wood, which would make the hammer useless. This water-proofing substance also stiffens the “shoulder” of the hammer, increasing the tension on the point, and making the hammer itself more resilient.

(3)    There is but one repetition spring in the Steinway action. There is no silk cord to give away through rot or vermin, nor is the tension altered through atmospheric changes on this account.

(4)    Steinway action flanges are water-proofed by being boiled in paraffin. This prevents shrinking, which is the cause of rattling flanges and non-alignment of action parts. View our Sale Pianos Steinway Hamburg Action

The action is comprised of dampers, shanks, hammers, whippens, and keys.  Depressing a key not only engages the damper lifter, but the wippen as well.  The whippen pushes the shank of the hammer toward the string.  It disengages just before the key is struck by the hammer.  The hammer “flies free” to the string.  When it bounces from the string, the hammer is suspended at a halfway point.  This is known as checking.  The hammer is poised here for another strike.  Releasing the key allows the hammer to partially rise.  The next strike is made ready when the whippen is re-cocked.  Because of the reduction to hammer striking distance, there is also a reduction in key travel.  The hammer can strike faster than before.  This is how players “Trill”.  When fully released, there is a drop of the damper onto the string.  The sound is killed.

Twenty-four regulations are performed on each note.  Making one adjustment causes affects to other parts previously regulated.  To accomplish the task, many repetitions of the process are required.

Steinway Duplex Scale

The duplex scale is an invention of Steinway & Sons. It imparts additional color to the fundamental tone by the addition of harmonious partial tones. Just as pure sunlight consists of the combination of the seven colors appearing in a rainbow, so the beauty of tone in stringed instruments depends upon the proper subdivision of the partial in combination with the fundamental tones.The action of the Steinway duplex scale compels each principal string by the addition of the aliquot partial tone, and through its impulse, to produce all partial harmonic tones, the result being richness and sonority.

Vibration is dampened by felt-covered action parts, correctly called, dampers.  A piano does not have 88 dampers.  High treble area notes have no need of dampers.  The short length of sustain makes them unnecessary.  The sustaining (or damper) pedal will raise all dampers.  That allows sound to continue after release of keys.Gravity assists action in grand pianos.  The hammer is returned to the resting position with springs in vertical pianos.  Notes of a grand piano repeat faster and are more reliable than those of a vertical piano.


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